Rock Oil and St Barnabas School: Inspiring the next generation of STEM enthusiasts

Wednesday, 19 April, 2023

Rock Oil recently welcomed its neighbour, St Barnabas School, to visit our headquarters, where our technical team hosted a group of young students. The visiting group were given an informative presentation followed by a question and answer session, then finishing with a tour around our purpose-built laboratory. Lab Manager Briony May and R&D Manager Sophie Luby delivered the presentation and lab tour.

“It was fantastic to host year 4, and share with them some of our passion for science and our high-quality products. I’ve always found that seeing science in action is the best way to understand core principles, and I would have loved to have had an opportunity like this when I was younger. To give back to the local community and give a small insight to the next generation about what a career in STEM could entail was highly rewarding, and I look forward to future collaborations with St Barnabas.”

Lab Manager Briony May

Last year, we met with the school in a coordinated effort regarding Fire Safety on our site and how evacuation may affect them. Due to both parties’ excellent interaction and positive approach, it seemed an exciting opportunity for their students to visit and hopefully gain knowledge about the working environment and assist with specific science projects. After a few meetings and a plant tour for their Deputy Head and Science lead, we settled on a lab introduction this Spring. This is to overlap with some of the KS2 curriculum including understanding states of matter, i.e. solids, liquids and gases and their properties, the solubility of mixtures, and more, as well as give the children the opportunity to ask Rock staff about their route to Rock Oil in terms of education, and a little bit about prospective employment in the STEM arena.

The cooperation with the school is ongoing, and further visits are scheduled to align with relevant aspects of the KS2 Design and Technology curriculum; they’d like to see the pneumatic design of our filling machines and use this to arrange their own design work. Rock Oil has long supported youth development and has several younger staff members who have completed or are part-way through apprenticeships. Our relationships with local schools and colleges are essential as we look to support and nurture the next generation of young people.

Wednesday, 19 April, 2023